Dark clouds loomed in the heavy night air. Large drops fell, stirring up dust as they splattered the ground where a little boy, no older than eight, ran barefoot along a beaten trail. He dodged the jagged rocks and fallen tree limbs that littered his way as he ran; hot breath trailing behind him in the cold night air. He pushed his small feet and tiny lungs to the max, and they responded, carrying him as fast as they could go. But it was not fast enough. Thunderous hooves closed in from behind him in the dark.
Not wasting time to slow down, he slammed into the front door of his ramshackle home. With cold fingers in a frantic fumble for the small rope that held the door closed, he at last found the rope and yanked.
“They chose us,” his shaky voice squeaked as he burst into the room.
His mother jumped from her chair, staring into her youngest son’s ashen face as the blood drained from her own. “Hurry, they’re coming for us!” She wailed up the small, rickety staircase. “We have to go. . . Now!”
In reply, a gangly teenage boy climbed down. Seeing the look on his mother’s face, her fear seeped into him and became his own.
“What about father?” the teenage boy asked, panic flooding his troubled eyes.
“They probably already have him,” his mother replied, fighting to hold back the burning flood of tears that threatened her ability to keep her sons safe. She clung to her youngest boy’s tiny hand and followed behind her teenage son; just like they had planned if this moment ever came.